At the risk of getting all misty, we’d like to a minute to sing the praises of Mr. Dino de Laurentiis, the film producer of film producers, who just finished up a pretty spectacular 91 year run.
He gets most of his rep for Barbarella—and we’re certainly not complaining—but he also had a hand in more flat-out classic than almost anyone in Hollywood can claim as theirs. The short list includes La Strada, Serpico, Manhunter and Blue Velvet. Along the way, he wrote the playbook independent producers have been following for decades, a nifty little trick involving foreign release rights, pre-production distribution guarantees and enough financial sleight-of-hand to rival anything on Wall Street.
In short, he was a player—talking fast, handling business, and wearing awesome sunglasses to the end. We salute you, sir.
- — Russell Brandom